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Proto-Esperanto (Pra-Esperanto)
Project author Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof
Year of publication 1878 , 1882
speaker no
particularities Older versions of Esperanto
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2

art (other constructed languages)

ISO 639-3

mis (not coded)

Pra-Esperanto (German: Proto-Esperanto) is the current name for Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof's first planned language project . Zamenhof started working on this project as a teenager. More precisely, there was a Pra-Esperanto I from 1878 and a Pra-Esperanto II from 1882. The actual Esperanto that is spoken today dates from 1885 and was only slightly changed until its publication in 1887.

Pra-Esperanto today has two important aspects:

  • It shows how Zamenhof changed his first draft bit by bit.
  • Features of Pra-Esperanto can be used as a stylistic device when writing literary Esperanto texts where an ancient language form is desired.

However, Pra-Esperanto II in particular also poses problems for Esperantology : apart from a few fragments, it has not survived, but there is a fragment edition with a description that was published by Gaston Waringhien . The history of transmission leaves important questions unanswered, and Waringhien mostly quotes from his own copies of an original allegedly destroyed in World War II (only two pages of which have survived as a photo reproduction by Edmond Privat ).

See also


  • Gaston Waringhien: Lingvo kaj vivo. Esperantologiaj eseoj . 2nd rev. eldono kun apendico. Universala Esperanto-Asocio, Rotterdam 1989, ISBN 92-9017-042-5 ( Jarcento de esperanto 3), (La Laguna 1959).